Welcome to college basketball, Mike Dunleavy.
Tulane’s newest basketball coach, who spent 17 seasons as an NBA head coach, saw the first player transfer from his team on Wednesday night.
Redshirt junior guard Kajon Mack announced he would graduate in May and leave Tulane for his final season of eligibility. If he successfully graduates on time, Mack would not have to endure the typical one-year penalty for transferring between Division I schools.
He’s the latest in a growing trend. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman compiled a list of 46 Division I players who are currently seeking a transfer following graduation.
“I want to thank Tulane for all of the wonderful times and endless support of the coaching staff, faculty and fans,” Mack posted to Facebook. “After I graduate this May, I will be finishing my college career elsewhere. I spoke with the athletic department and received my release today.
“I will always love Tulane and be proud to call them my alma mater. Thanks for a great four years.”
Tulane spokesman Roger Dunaway said Mack leaves the program on good terms and as a model student-athlete.
“Kajon Mack is on track to graduate from Tulane this May and will pursue a post-graduate degree at another institution,” Dunaway said. “He represented Tulane well, both on and off the court, and we wish him the best.”
He is the second Green Wave player to announce his departure since Ed Conroy was fired on March 14, joining rising junior forward Dylan Osetkowski, who has been contacted by Texas, Nebraska, Mississippi State and Colorado State amongst others.
Mack is unlikely to garner the same level of attention.
However, the 6-foot-3 guard features explosive speed despite suffering a series of leg injuries in his Tulane tenure. He was sidelined for the entirety of the 2013-14 season due to an ankle issue and missed the first 10 games of last season recovering from a knee injury.
After playing in 60 games in his first two seasons, Mack saw action in just five contests last season, struggling to regain his health and crack the Green Wave’s guard rotation.
Mack’s departure ensures there are at least two scholarship openings on Tulane’s roster, assuming incoming freshmen signees Colin Slater, Justin Moore and Maxwell Starwood (who signed with Conroy) all decide to join Dunleavy.